Actis exits renewables platform, names senior partner

The emerging markets-focused firm has sold Globeleq Mesoamerica to New York-listed SunEdison and promoted Torbjorn Caesar, the head of its energy unit.

Actis and Mesoamerica Power, a vehicle managed by Costa Rica-based investment firm Mesoamerica, yesterday announced that they had reached an agreement to sell their combined 100 percent stake in Globeleq Mesoamerica Energy (GME) to US renewables developer SunEdison.

Both partners respectively acquired a 70 percent and 30 percent holding in GME, which develops and operates wind farms across Latin America, in 2010. Since the transaction, which involved acquiring the first-ever wind farm in the region, the company has grown from 24 megawatts (MW) in operation to 314MW in operation and construction, 80MW in late development and a project pipeline of nearly 300MW.

With eight wind farms in Costa Rica, Honduras and Nicaragua, the company bills itself as Central America’s largest wind energy company. SunEdison expects to add the acquired operating assets to the portfolio of TerraForm Global, an emerging markets-focused yieldco (the name given to listed vehicles designed to deliver stable, predictable yield).

“We are proud of what we have achieved over the past five years, growing GME sixteen fold in terms of MW capacity, and creating a business that is ready to continue its journey with a strategic owner. It is uniquely positioned to capitalise on attractive growth markets in the countries where it already operates, as well as expanding to others in the region,” commented Mikael Karlsson, a partner at Actis.

The news followed shortly after the promotion of Torbjorn Caesar, Actis’ head of energy, to senior partner. Also announced yesterday, the appointment sees Caesar succeed Paul Fletcher, who becomes non-executive chairman of the company.

“During his 13 years at the firm, [Torbjorn] has shown outstanding leadership skills in tandem with generating excellent investment returns. We are indeed fortunate to have him lead and inspire the next generation of Actis and to develop the Firm in its second decade,” Fletcher said in a statement.

Building platforms and divesting them to strategic players is a key plank of the strategy currently followed by Actis’ energy unit, as Caesar explained in an in-depth interview with Infrastructure Investor published last month. All of the platforms currently being developed by Actis Energy III, a $1.15 billion vehicle closed in December 2013, are focused on renewable energy.

According to Infrastructure Investor Research & Analytics, Actis is set to launch Energy Fund IV, which will target clean gas, in 2016.